The Cat of Time

Alan Watts talks about time in terms of a cat behind a fence.

When we view the cat through a gap in a fence we see the head, then we see the body, then we see the tail.

It’s the same with time…

We see events one by one.

There’s a connection we don’t make… it’s only time that gives us the illusion that events are unconnected.

The headache we have today is completely related to the six glasses of wine we had last night.

And so is the disturbed night’s sleep.

And so is the feeling of depression and tiredness.

And so is the piece of cake we eat to feel better.

And so is the sugar crash we get from eating the cake.

When we start to recognise the whole cat, we raise our awareness of our behaviours.

What used to be “Oh… blow it, I’ll just have another” changes to “That extra glass of wine isĀ directly related to my feeling of fulfilment tomorrow. I’ll say ‘no’.”

It isn’t about doing without. It isn’t about ascetism.

It’s about seeing the whole cat.

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